Being an effective Leader or Manager has its fair share of challenges. This can be even greater in the Virtual environment. Leading a virtual team requires lots of minor adjustments, unless your team is in bad shape of course, then a major overhaul is in order.
As I was sitting here thinking about the areas I need to improve when it comes to leading our Virtual Team I thought I would share what came to mind.
Here are some things that you can think about, I would love to have a dialogue with you so feel free to share it and comment.
1. Recruit your Online Team Properly
Recruiting is like going to the dentist. Everybody hates it but it is an evil necessity that you always leave till the last minute. I am sure you would not want your dentist to take shortcuts on you right? The same is true of the recruitment process.
Every time I have short cut the process, I end up needing a major root canal done on my business – costly and painful to say the least!
Here are the key points to take note of in recruiting for your Virtual Team:
- Have a clear job description and outline for the candidate
- Make sure both parties have an understanding of the commitment and responsibilities
- When you interview always take note of the red flags – don’t ignore them thinking that this persons skills will be “sufficient”
- Always ask for a demonstration of the relevant skills – we use ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support and get candidates who claim to have certain skills to demonstrate them online.
There is a real art to recruiting, if this is an area of interest and you would like us to share more on Finding, Recruiting and Training people for your Virtual Team, leave a comment below.
2. Build on a Person’s Strengths
In the online marketing world, it seems things change almost daily. So you will have virtual team members doing new tasks, assisting with new projects most likely outside the skill-set they were hired for originally.
I have seen businesses let good people go because they failed to see the good qualities and skills they brought to the Virtual Team.
If you have what we call “good people” (which to us are identified by loyalty, honesty and a level of care for our business) – but in the process of expanding your business you find they are deficient in some areas, do not fire them.
Either train them or get someone else to do that task and give them the work they excel at.
A soccer team can only have one goal keeper. He is a specialist at what he does. They do not require him to run the ball downfield and make a shot for goal. Likewise, your team have expertise in certain areas – build on their strengths and outsource the weak areas to someone else.
3. Show Gratitude for each member of your Online Team
The lengths people will go to for a “Thank You”.
In the heat of the battle (so to speak) we can sometimes forget to say “Great Job”, “Thank You”, “I really appreciate your fine work on that”
In an office environment it is easy to express thanks for different tasks completed, but with a Virtual Team sometimes we can lack that face to face contact. So when you are meeting online with your virtual team members, or if you are sending an email, take some opportunities to express your appreciation.
Small bonuses mean a lot also. I have a client who sends me a virtual beer when she is particularly happy with our work. It is usually a small amount transferred by paypal. Even though I don’t physically take it out and spend it on a beer, I feel the gratitude and she feels happy to give a small gift.
This is an area I have been trying hard to work on lately. I must say there is truth in the saying “there is more happiness in giving than receiving” – you can get joy from think about your virtual team and giving in small ways.
Love to hear your thoughts on this article feel free to comment below.